Jackrabbit Athletic Scholarship Auction going virtual Saturday night


BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Each year for four decades, South Dakota State University Athletics has held a Spring scholarship auction. This year, the Division I program is getting creative in order to benefit students and now Feeding South Dakota.

Each Spring, SDSU supporters gather in Frost Arena for the Jackrabbit Athletic Scholarship Auction.

“It’s been a really special event. It’s obviously something we connect all our fans on in Frost Arena and it’s something everybody looks forward to every spring in Brookings,” Sell said.

Plans are shifting to a virtual gathering this Saturday night due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of tables for guests, those supporters will get their own Zoom rooms. Director of Athletics Justin Sell and Associate Athletic Director for Media Tyler Merriam will also be hosting a live, hour-long show on YouTube starting at 6 p.m.

“We’ll have College Gameday highlights. We’ll have some messages from student athletes. We might have a few former alums that are fairly well known that might make an appearance with a video on it,” Sell said.

Live bidding on a number of unique items will be taking place online. On top of supporting athletic scholarships, people can donate to Feeding South Dakota and to high-needs scholarships at SDSU.

“We have an anonymous donor who has stepped up yet again and not only for our student athlete scholarships, which this individual has done the past few years, but we’re also tying that in with Feeding South Dakota, with high-needs scholarships. So every dollar raised is actually worth three,” Merriam said.

Making a difference in a variety of ways. It’s a big reason why the athletics department is putting a lot of work into keeping the auction going this year.

Holsen: Who can watch this and why are you doing it this way?

Merriam: This is a unique chance for us to broadcast this to anybody, anywhere you are. You don’t have to have purchased a ticket to be able to be a part of this.

Raising money for students and putting food on the table for those in need.

Sell says many other programs across the country have cancelled their fundraisers. At SDSU, they’re hoping to raise a record $1.5 million dollars this weekend.

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